Friday, October 5, 2007

A little bit of faith

That's what her email to Wheelie Catholic said. "I have just a little bit of faith that I can get through this," she wrote. "My son was born with a disability and I need to ask you for help. We don't have enough money for a few things he needs that insurance won't cover. Can you help us?"

Some of the emails I get touch on situations that are extremely difficult and emotionally wrenching for those who are living with them. A few have been filled with despair, and those are the people who often need help the most, not because their circumstances are the worst, but because they feel nothing and no one can or will help them. These are the "anawim", the lost and forgotten ones. I don't mean that in a patronizing way. Being human, many people at one time or another in their life find themselves in this position.

I concentrate first on those and then tackle others. I try to respond to each and every email as quickly as I can even if I don't have answers. I can usually provide resources to check and once in a while I actually can solve a situation for someone.

Rarely is that done alone. I rely on the generosity of others to do that and take no credit for their generosity. I'm just a medium (well not like a seance medium, but you get the idea). I have bartered a few times between recipients and donors, so that it's a win win situation. And then there are the times when an item someone needs just falls in my lap. Wow.

But here's the thing: it's humbling to know that I can't fix these peoples' problems. I have to rely on others too. I have to have faith, even if it's just a little, that there is someone out there who can help them. I'm reminded of the movie about Boys Town, where Fr. Flanagan almost went under time after time, but always believed he could keep it running. And so he did. Today it is still helping street kids who have nowhere else to call home.

We all need to feel we belong, that we are part of a community, that we are cared for and about. When someone reaches out to another person, it takes at least a bit of faith each and every time. When we try to help them, it takes faith on our part. Whether we agree or disagree about religious beliefs, I believe that faith between people is the glue that keeps us all connected. And I've seen people transformed from feeling despair to hope, neglected to loved and watched them get back their dignity.

They say faith can move mountains. I know it can certainly move people to show spiritual generosity. And to those who have helped my readers, I want to say thank you.

1 comment:

hotwheelz said...

Sometimes just knowing people care can get people into a better place. When I had my accident my retired neighbor drove me to work until my cast was off. Before then I could never find handicap parking on the street I live on. Now all the neighbors make sure that spot is clear for me when I get home. This kind of caring really changes lives.